Friday, January 20, 2012

SoLoMo - Implications for Marketers

SoLoMo is a term that has gained great currency since John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers coined it a year or so ago. The importance of the phenomenon was confirmed during the holiday season of 2011 by soaring m-commerce sales. In the U.S. alone, sales from mobile devices were expected to be over $10 billion in 2011, and the U.S. has been a laggard in the space.

The most startling statistic of all, however, is the fact that sales of smartphones exceeded those of pcs for the first time in the 4th quarter of 2010. The prediction has been around for awhile, but now it has been matched by the reality, and marketers must adjust their strategies accordingly. Much has been written about mobile strategies, but I think a lot of it misses a key issue.

First, the players, all of whom are well known, even if some are mere corporate infants. This infographic from Social Commerce Today positions them in the space.

Here’s my take, with the often-overlooked issue and implications for marketers. Devices are the facilitators but search, especially local search, is the fundamental driver. Whether people are looking for a present for Mom, finding where their friends are or locating a place to have Indian for lunch search dominates, and a lot of it is local these days. The fact that search ties it all together is a strategic marketing issue of great importance.

The other key marketing issue is the emergence of small local retailers as equal participants. Looking at the infographic above you see that all the players offer affordable marketing opportunities to small local businesses. Some of them are designed to cater to that market. Small businesses have to learn to take advantage of the opportunities and large enterprises will increasingly find ways to incorporate them into brand strategies. In this space the “level playing field” of the Internet has finally arrived, and its importance cannot be overstated.

How are marketers dealing with the challenges? A survey by Silverpop suggests that many marketers have a long way to go before they successfully integrate communications channels, including email. For additional data about which channels marketers are using and how, download the study here.

Marketers have a lot to learn as they deal with these strategic issues. How do we do this without harassing customers each and every time they are close to one of our stores? How do we do it with a level of privacy that is known and acceptable to our customers? And what about “deal fatigue?” It comes back to the fundamental SMM question: How do we play nicely in the social space and still accomplish our brand goals?

All questions that need serious thought, but the outlines of the space in which we are playing are becoming clearer. It’s called SoLoMo!

Article first published as SoLoMo--Implications for Marketers on Technorati.


Cpalead said...

Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok. I am definitely enjoying your weblog and look forward to new updates.

MaryLou Roberts said...

Would be happy to have you
@mlr001 or use icon on sidebar. My posts do feed through to Twitter :)

George Brophy said...

I'm in Professor Robert's E-6620 Internet Marketing class. This SoLoMo article and white paper is "spot on" my needs exploring a strategy for a private undergraduate Higher Ed institution.
George Brophy